God’s love in the eyes of a child

My (almost) three-year-old daughter, Clara, recently asked my husband if she could go up to her room so that she could pray.  He then tried to explain to her how God’s is everywhere, and so she can actually pray anywhere she wants to.  My heart melted when I heard this story.  As we are learning in the summer series at church reading through Corinthians – love is intricately complicated; yet common and simple – as shown through the eyes of my daughter.  It made me realize how many other opportunities there are to teach our kids about God’s love and prayer.

The next day, I tried to think of a tactical way to help Clara understand the capacity of God.  I grabbed a glass of water, showed her salt, and mixed them together.  By the next morning, she told me she couldn’t see the salt anymore.  I then asked her if she could taste it, and with a sour face she took a sip and said that she could.  I then tried to explain to her how just like the salt, God can’t be seen…but He is everywhere!  It was like a lightbulb moment as her face lit up with a big smile!

Before bed that evening, I asked Clara what she wanted to pray about, and she said with much enthusiasm, “CANDY!”  In fact, she wanted to pray for candy the next several nights.  Although prayer is all about being authentic, I recently stumbled across this awesome 5 finger prayer to help give her some guidance.  To help her understand who God is, and how she can talk to Him through prayer.  I thought it was a pretty neat idea to share with the other parents out there!

Thumb- Praise God

Index- Confess your sins

Middle- Thank God

Ring- Pray for others

Pinky-Pray for yourself

Praying-Hands-e1309176091120

How have you taught your children about prayer and God’s love?  Let’s share and encourage each other with inspiring ideas!

When have you had that lightbulb moment about God’s love?

 

Katie Larson is a member of Easter Lutheran Church.  She lives in Eagan with her husband Andrew, and their two young daughters, Clara and Audrey.  In her free time outside of working as a marketing recruiter, Katie enjoys writing on the topic of faith and parenting.

 

Advertisements

Lenten activities for children

As Easter approaches, I have been trying to incorporate some devotions about the Lenten season into my children’s lives. Behind the Easter bunny, coloring eggs, and lots of candy…I want my kids to know what this holiday is truly about. I have included some of my favorite ideas, and I hope that this can help spark some conversation in your own family as well.

What are some other Easter traditions that your family shares?

Jelly Bean Prayer
This is one of my favorite prayers that I remember from childhood. It is short and sweet, but can bring more meaning by including in your kid’s Easter baskets next to all of their treats.

Red is for the blood He gave
Green is for the grass He made
Yellow is for the sun so bright
Orange is for the edge of night
Black is for the sins we made
White is for the grace He gave
Purple is for His hours of sorrow
Pink is for our new tomorrow!

(http://www.thatswhatchesaid.net/2014/jelly-bean-prayer-free-printable/)

Resurrection Easter Egg Hunt
Here is a fun Easter egg hunt idea I found, where you can walk your child through the Gospel at the same time. Gather 6 plastic eggs (each a different color). Place the items below in each egg, and tell your child the Resurrection story while they open them.

Bread crumb: Jesus ate dinner with His friends (Luke 22:14-15)
Cross: The next day, Jesus died on the cross (John 19:17-18)
Strip of cloth/tissue: He was wrapped in cloth and placed in a tomb (John 19:40)
Rock: A stone was placed in front of the tomb (Matthew 27:59-60)
Empty egg: Jesus’ friends came to the tomb and saw that it was empty! (Luke 24:1-3)
Candy: Jesus is alive, and that is the sweet surprise of Easter! (Matthew 28:5-6)

(http://happyhomefairy.com/2012/04/01/resurrection-eggs-for-toddlers/)

Lenten Prayer Chain
Remember those paper chains from when you were a kid?! A fun idea I found was to create a chain long enough to cover each day of Lent (or what is left of this season). On each chain, have your child write something that they would like to pray for, or a good deed.

A similar idea I found, was to create a “prayer pot” full of Popsicle sticks, where your child can write on each of them. Every day throughout Lent, they can pull one out and accomplish what they had written.

(http://fromthesheepfold.blogspot.com/2011/03/try-this-lent.html)

Teaching about grace – at home activity
This is a wonderful visual representation on how Christ washes away our sins with the help of a few common materials you have around the house.

Me & You (cup 1): Tap Water
Sin (cup 2): Water and Iodine
Jesus (cup 3): Water and Bleach

Watch this short video clip to see how it works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EZN0DzWLthU

Resurrection Rolls                                                                                                                                     A sweet breakfast treat on Easter morning! Why are they called Resurrection rolls? You use a marshmallow in the recipe, and when the sweet rolls bake up, the marshmallow disappears! The “tomb” is found empty! Check out this link for pictures and step-by-step baking instructions: http://thelarsonlingo.blogspot.com/2012/04/ressurection-rolls.html

Don’t forget the Easter egg hunt this weekend at Easter Lutheran Church by the Lake! Check out this link for more details: http://easter.org/wordpress/?page_id=6648

11080609_817182891650799_2832737276175764444_o

May everyone have a blessed Easter!!

Katie Larson is a member of Easter Lutheran Church. She lives in Eagan with her husband Andrew, and their two young daughters, Clara and Audrey. In her free time outside of working as a marketing recruiter, Katie enjoys writing on the topic of faith and parenting.

Jesus Heals and Teaches

As we are currently going through the Gospel of Mark at church, I have been focusing my thoughts on how these stories of Jesus relate to my life today. During today’s service, we will learn about Mark 2:1-22 (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Mark+2%3A1-22&version=NRSV) where Jesus heals and teaches.

The story starts off with Jesus in Capernaum. A group of four men carry a paralyzed man into town to see Jesus. They go as far as digging a hole in the roof to get the man into the house, since the crowds were too large to be able to get him through the front door. This makes me stop to think, when in my (or your) life have we gone out of the way to meet a friend who is struggling? Did we brush it off due to our busy schedule, or did we actually take the time to invite them out to coffee, or maybe even invite them to church?! The paralyzed man could not have gotten to Jesus without his friends’ help who took the extra mile for him.

Later on – Jesus comes across Levi, the tax collector, and asks him to follow him. Jesus ends up eating dinner with Levi, as well as a table full of other sinners. Jesus says in the story, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.” It is so easy to get caught up with my same group of friends, and this is a great reminder of expanding my circle. How are ways that we can minister to those outside of our “friends bubble” or congregation? Who in our life could use God’s love and grace right now? As Jesus gave forgiveness to the paralyzed man and Levi, he wanted to heal people both inside and out. Jesus was “all in” for people. Let’s come together and live the faith, and share the faith!

Katie Larson is a member of Easter Lutheran Church. She lives in Eagan with her husband Andrew, and their two young daughters, Clara and Audrey. In her free time outside of working as a marketing recruiter, Katie enjoys writing on the topic of faith and parenting.IMG_2755